Lebanon arrests five agents suspected of torturing Syrian detainee to death

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Lebanon arrested five State Security agents Saturday on suspicion of torturing to death a Syrian detainee, in the latest abuse allegation against the security services, a judicial source told AFP.

The arrests came on the orders of the government’s commissioner to the military courts, Fadi Akiki, who had ordered an investigation into last month’s death in custody, the source said.


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The young Syrian “died within three hours of his arrest after being subjected to severe torture and beatings that triggered a heart attack,” the source said, adding that the detainee was pronounced dead on arrival in hospital.

The State Security agents arrested Bashar Abdel Saud on August 31 and took him to an agency facility in Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon for questioning with other detainees.

The agents wanted to “obtain a confession from the deceased suspect that he was the leader of a cell” linked to ISIS but he “persisted in denying the allegation,” according to the source.

In pictures seen by AFP, the body of the deceased was covered in cuts and bruises. The bodies of fellow detainees who survived their ordeal also bore signs of torture.

The State Security agency, which has faced multiple allegations of torture in the past, said Abdel Saud’s death had been referred to the “competent authorities.”

Lebanon passed a law banning the use of torture in September 2017, but in March last year human rights group Amnesty International published a report detailing the alleged use of torture against 26 Syrian refugees “arbitrarily detained on counter-terror charges.”

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